Dosem – The first challenge to be faced as an artist nowadays, is to focus on the music itself

For over 6 years now Dosem has been dropping big room house and techno bombs on labels such as Suara, Carl Cox’s Intec Recordings, Tronic, Bedrock, Break New Soil and more. With a mix of futuristic techno and soulful house approach to his productions, he definitely gives a unique sheen that he can call his own. Releases such as his Suara EP ‘Streetout’ and his remix for Hot Since 82’s “Planes & Trains” demonstrate this characteristic further and have garnered him wide support across the electronic spectrum from DJs such as Sasha, Carl Cox, John Digweed, Joris Voorn and Laurent Garnier.

The trajectory behind Dosem’s exponential rise first occurred when he signed to Technasia’s label Sino in 2008 with his eloquently carved club hit ‘Silent Drop’ (2009). From here his profile flourished and following a re-release of the already cosmic classic ‘Beach Kisses’ on Joris Voorn’s Green label, he soon had material on imprints like Bedrock and Suara. However, the true marker to Dosem’s potential came in 2011 when he unveiled, to critical acclaim, his debut album ‘Parallel’. What followed was a string of sonic releases that included his ‘Origin’ album on Christian Smith’s Tronic imprint, and remixes for artists such Hot Since 82, Technasia, Uner, Coyu, Gregor Tresher, Max Cooper, Henry Saiz…

His global reach as a producer has given rise to his profile as a DJ and seen him become an initiated member of some of the most renowned parties in the world. Today his name can be found on billings for clubs and festivals around the world that include Blue Marlin, Space Ibiza, Berghain, Fabrik, Ministry of Sound, Ushuaia, Pacha, Rex Club, Fuse, Awakenings, Klubbers Day and Monegros Desert Festival.

Hi Marc, thank you for taking the time out to chat with us. How are you today?

Really good, thank you so much!

Can you tell us about the cultural background of the Spanish city Girona where you are from?

Its a city best known for his history, architecture… also for his gastronomy. Who has not visited yet, I recommend you to do it… is small but has a great cultural and leisure activities. There are many areas of the city like the old neighborhood that are really nice.

Does the city have a musical background or heritage of famous musicians?

Girona was for many years a city with a strong scene of electronic music. We had several clubs of reference as Blau Club or La Sala del Cel. It was a very intense time, we had national and international artists playing every weekend. There were also many local DJs, music stores… but the generational change and the economic crisis were a turning point that hit the city scene harshly. Fortunately during some time, new initiatives and projects are starting to build again the scene in the city. We have a school of electronic music (Eumes) where I collaborate, and is in the daily works to try to recover the spirit that remains latent in our city for a new electronic music scene.

You describe your sound as a mix of futuristic techno and soulful house. How have your musical influences growing up had an impact on the sound you produce today?

I’ve always been a big fan of soundtracks, especially sci-fi films.

That is why the musical substance in my productions usually has a significant weight, and somehow enjoy a direct influence of such films. One of my favorite genres is the “Cyberpunk”, which describes a dystopian future as a human species. These are issues that are also present in the origins of Techno music from Detroit. At that time, that genre hadn’t had direct influence on me because I was still very young, but knocked my interest indirectly through other artists who later adopted this style in Europe. In any case I’ve always heard all kinds of music: R&B, Soul, Funk, House … even music Dub / Ambient and experimental. I have always kept an open mind to hear new genres.

It was undoubtedly Silent drop and Beach Kisses which launched your career however a big success was down to the release of two artist albums; parallel on Sino in 2011, and Origin on Tronic in 2013. How important a figure has both Technasia and Christian Smith been to your career?

Teaming with artists who have been a long time on the scene was a turning point in my career. For me, the most important thing is to get my music on labels that are committed to my sound, but where I also may have a positive friendship and creative freedom. They are two great artists, with great experience and talent. I learned a lot working with them.

You own and run your own label with Bension called Soundfate. Could you explain the concept of the label and more about the background and style of artist you are looking to sign?

Soundfate is a project that began several years ago and had a very clear target: to develop our own platform to get our music without filters, without pressure and with absolute freedom. Over time we also gave support to artists who shared our musical philosophy. We never thought it was something for a long term, so a year ago we decided to stop, as we had met the objectives we set at the beginning and all team members had other priorities.

What are the biggest challenges for producers at the moment with releasing music, both financially and promotional?

I think the first challenge to be faced as an artist nowadays, is to focus on the music itself. To focus on the core of communicating in a singular form thru the musical creation process. Being honest with itself and go out of the comfort zone once in a while, working hard on real and concrete goals. Those things will help how to plan your career more easily. We live in a time of change where the music seems to have passed into the background and everything is based on how you promote things. It’s a pretty vicious cycle incompatible with creativity, which is what I think makes evolving a true artist. I’ve always been a pretty positive person and when I pose challenges I face them directly. If the rules of the game change, it´s better to accept and use them to your advantage without letting these take control of your career. Everything has to be clear in your mind to know what you want and go for it. Think about how to get it and implement it without excuses, positive mindset, patient and organized.

As a platform how crucial were some of the smaller local clubs and events you played in your hometown of Girona when in the earlier stages of learning to produce your own music?

Absolutely crucial. Thanks to these clubs and events I could develop my technique, learn and understand dance music. I had several residences where I have to put all kinds of music and keep an eye on the track constantly to make people dance. It is something that helped me a lot when I produce later and still help me when I play at a new venue.
I like to watch the audience, analyze it in detail … connect with the people who are listening to me, through my music, but adapting to their reactions. When I make music in my studio is more personal, but when I go to a club my top priority is that the public has paid the entrance have a good time.

You also promoted your own parties. What exposure to the more influential clubs in Girona such as Club Blau did running your own events give you?

I began to organize my own parties for the same reason you said before. When I started, no one knew me, so I created my very own platform to start. I made it together with my closest friends, organizing the events and being one of the Djs. Eventually we had a very loyal following audience that always attended and eventually came to the attention of several promoters. One of them gave me a chance… Thus it began. It happened so fast, I remember those years fondly. I´m still in touch with all the people who were part of this process, most are still great friends of mine.

You have openly discussed in other interviews that you are very in touch with your life experiences and emotions when writing music. How easy do you find it to portray those emotions in a way for them to work on a dance floor?

When I make a song, I separate it in two parts: one is the story I want to tell ( the concept ). Images, memories that I have in my mind and serve as inspiration for a soundtrack. Once I have the musical substance, I add the beats and the elements aimed for the dancefloor. I try to make music that I like to dance in a club… I like music which is hypnotic, elegant yet powerful.

Is your studio set up a combination of software and hardware and are there any toys in particular you find really gives you that freedom of expression?

Actually I make all my music with my computer. It’s a pretty minimal setup. I do not like to complicate my life with many external elements. On my way to produce music, that would be distractions. I have very few tools and I make the most out of them.

Which brings me onto your other production alias you go by called Sendo? How does this sound differ to that of Dosem?

Sendo is my laboratory of ideas where I can experiment, without necessarily thinking about the dance floor. I do music without any technical or stylistic filter. It helps me feel creatively free and I have not to think if that sounds good in a club or makes people dance. I start the ideas, and depending on how I feel it, I add elements to develop the track and edit under the alias of “Dosem”… or it gets lost on my hard drive. I have a lot of productions that have not seen the light and I’m thinking of taking under the aka of “Sendo” again.

You are very much into your Sci-fi movies some of which widely influenced the making of your first album Parallel. Would you ever consider writing film scores if the opportunity presented itself?

I’d love to. In fact I’ve already worked on some commercials and documentaries.

Can you tell us about your latest EP released on Tronic? Is there a story behind the two tracks?

Yes, but I do not usually tell what’s behind the songs… I prefer that each one make their own conclusions, only listening to music and reading the title. Music is a universal language for me that I can use to tell stories that require more than just words.

Who are some of your favourite Spanish producers, both established and some of the newer artists breaking through at the moment?

Henry Saiz, Marc Marzenit, Coyu, Uner, Edu Imbernon, Los Suruba, Ramiro Lopez, One D…

The Decoded team were very active this year at Amsterdam Dance Event in October. How important has the event become to the European electronic music scene?

I remember the first time I atended it several years ago … it was a really positive experience. Gather in one place with many professionals, able to talk for the first time with people you usually talk daily by e-mail … its a fantastic event, to establish face to face contact and create positive synergies.

Which events are you playing this year?

Suara at Westerunie, Break New Soil / Loveland at Mediahaven, Blue Marlin Ibiza & Magnum Showcase at Panama, Deeperfect after party at Pllek, Ambizi Records Night at Westerunie

What are your top 10 tracks that are really working the dance floor in your sets at the moment?

Radians – Simon Garcia
Girls & Boys – Rob Cockerton
Time Out – Hot Since 82
Talk to you (Groove Armada Remix) – Drew Hill
All the Way – Maximiljan
Birs of Paradise (Kydus Remix) – Eagles & Butterflies
One House – Wax Worx
Stay True – Tommy Largo
I can see the light – Riva Starr
Lost in Groove – Adrian Hour

When you come to sourcing tracks for your sets other than promo’s you receive where else do you look for new music apart from Beatport?

In my sets I mostly end up playing my own productions or edits of tracks I like but I modify them in the way I like it.

It’s important to relax and take time out from your work and the studio. What music do you like to chill out too? Think if you were doing a ‘back to mine’ compilation.

I listen to all kinds of music, I’m always listening to new artists and I like discovering new sounds. In my free time I listen to everything: Rudimental, Bonobo, Scuba, Moodymann, Luomo, Tim Hecker, Carl Craig … I like contrasts, sometimes I feel I want to hear something with vocals and sometimes more experimental and rude. I also really like movie soundtracks.

What can we expect from you for the rest of 2014, future releases, projects or events you’re really looking forward to?

Now I want to focus on the Album Tour and think quietly which is the project I want to take next year of all that I have in mind.
I want to keep trying new things. I also have some remixes coming out for Umek, Mark Fanciulli, Robert Babicz, Uto Karem, Chus & Ceballos…

Lastly, if you had the opportunity to collaborate with any artist from past or present who would you choose and why?

I’ve already had the opportunity to work with two artists whose influenced me at the time as Joris Voorn and Alexander Kowalski. For my next project, I want to work on new collabs. Adding vocals and organic elements to my productions. I’m already working on it.


About the author

Decoded Magazine Director and Operations Manager of Decoded Magazine Radio.

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